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New Features in the .NET Framework 3.5


Microsoft released ASP.NET 3.5 on November 19, 2007. Along with it, was released Visual Studio 2008. In this version Microsoft enhanced features of .NET Framework Version 3.0 and adds some new too. Now we will take a look at new and enhanced features in the .NET Framework version 3.5. The features updated or added by Microsoft are:
  • .NET Compact Framework
  • Add-Ins and Extensibility
  • Common Language Runtime
  • Cryptography
  • Networking
  • Windows Communication Foundation
  • Windows Presentation Foundation
  • Windows Workflow Foundation
  • Windows Forms
  • LINQ
  • Expression Trees
  • Programming Languages

Let’s discuss all the features one by one briefly:

NET Compact Framework

NET Compact Framework helps in the develop contents for a Pocket PC or a Smartphone. The .NET Compact Framework version 3.5 extends the .NET Compact Framework with many new features. The .NET Compact Framework version 3.5 expands support for distributed mobile applications by includes:

  • Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) technology
  • Language-Integrated Query (LINQ)
  • Improvements made to Windows Forms controls
  • SoundPlayer to play multiple sounds.
  • Supports Compression through the System.IO.Compression namespace
  • Supports the CreateDelegate method
  • Supports the CLR Profiler
  • Supports the Configuration Tool (which provides runtime version information and administrative functions)
  • Debugging enhancements
  • Improvements have been made to logging features
  • Information about the platform type
  • The runtime tools library with diagnostic tools, such as Remote Performance Monitor, with the emulator.
  • Strong names that are greater than 1,024 bytes are now supported
  • The global assembly provides improved error handling and integration with Windows Embedded CE version 6.0.
  • The class library documentation improved

The .NET Framework 3.5 includes enhancements in targeted areas of ASP.NET and Visual Web Developer. In ASP.NET 2.0 to use AJAX we have to download the extensions and install it. However in ASP.NET 3.5, ASP.NET AJAX is integrated into the .NET Framework. The Microsoft AJAX Library supports client-centric, object-oriented development, which is browser-independent. By using the library classes in your ECMAScript (JavaScript) you can enable rich UI behaviors without roundtrips to the server.Visual Web Developer includes improved IntelliSense support for JavaScript and support for the Microsoft AJAX Library. The integration of ASP.NET and IIS 7.0 includes the ability to use ASP.NET services, such as authentication and caching, for any content type. It also includes the ability to develop server pipeline modules in ASP.NET managed code and supports unified configuration of modules and handlers.

Other improvements in ASP.NET include new data control ListView and DataPager along with a new datasource control called the LinqDataSource that exposes Language Integrated Query (LINQ) to Web developers through the ASP.NET data source control architectures. ASP.NET 3.5 includes a new merge tool (aspnet_merge.exe). This tool lets you combine and manage assemblies created by aspnet_compiler.exe. This tool was available earlier as an add-on.

ListView Class

ListView Class displays the values of a data source by using user-defined templates. The ListView control enables users to select, sort, delete, edit, and insert records. The ListView control is quiet flexible and contains features of the Gridview, Datagrid, Repeater and similar list controls available in ASP.NET 2.0.


Provides paging functionality for data-bound controls that implement the IPageableItemContainer interface, such as the ListView control.The best advantage is that you need not have to keep it ‘tied’ with the control on which the paging is being done. You can keep it anywhere on the page.DataPager gives you a consistent way of paging with the controls that support it.

Add-Ins and Extensibility

The System.AddIn.dll assembly in the .NET Framework 3.5 provides powerful and flexible support to developers of extensible applications. It introduces a new architecture and model that helps developers with the initial work to add extensibility to an application and by ensuring that their extensions continue working as the host application changes.

Common Language Runtime

Common Language Runtime used in .NET 3.5 has improved and its feature also gets updated. Which are Collections, Diagnostics, I/O and Pipes, Garbage Collection, Reflection and Reflection Emit in Partial Trust, Threading Better Reader n Writer Lock, ThreadPool Performance Enhancements, Time Zone Improvements, TimeZoneInfo and DateTimeOffset.


To improve security .NET 3.5 updated with some features. There are new cryptography classes for verifying and obtaining information about manifest signatures for ClickOnce applications. The .NET Framework 3.5 supports the Suite B set of cryptographic algorithms.


Several features in networking also get improved in .NET 3.5. Peer to peer networking is a serverless networking technology that allows several network devices to share resources and communicate directly with each other is get improved. The Socket class has been enhanced for use by applications that use asynchronous network I/O to achieve the highest performance. These enhancements were specifically designed for network server applications that require the high-performance.

Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Workflow Foundation

The .NET Framework 3.5 unifies the Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) frameworks so that you can use WF as a way to author WCF services or expose your existing WF workflow as a service. This enables you to create services that can be persisted, can easily transfer data in and out of a workflow, and can enforce application-level protocols.

Windows Presentation Foundation

In the .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Presentation Foundation contains changes sand improvements in numerous areas, including versioning, the application model, data binding, controls, documents, annotations, and 3-D UI elements.

Windows Forms

Windows Forms has enhanced to host Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) controls and content together with Windows Forms controls. You can also open WPF windows from a Windows Form. Client application services are new in the .NET Framework 3.5 and enable Windows-based applications (including Windows Forms and Windows Presentation Foundation applications) to easily access the ASP.NET login, roles, and profile services. These services enable you to authenticate users and retrieve user roles and application settings from a shared server.

Language-Integrated Query (LINQ)

Language-Integrated Query (LINQ) is a new feature in Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5. LINQ adds native data querying capability to C# and VB.NET along with the compiler and Intellisense support. This technology can be extended to support potentially any kind of data store. The .NET Framework 3.5 includes LINQ provider assemblies that enable the use of LINQ for querying .NET Framework collections, SQL Server databases, ADO.NET Datasets, and XML documents.

Expression Trees

Expression trees are new in the .NET Framework 3.5, and provide a way to represent language-level code in the form of data. Expression trees are used extensively in LINQ queries that target remote data sources such as a SQL database. These queries are represented as expression trees, and this representation enables query providers to examine them and translate them into a domain-specific query language.

Programming Languages

Visual C#, Visual C++ 2008, Visual Basic Language Three Microsoft programming languages explicitly target the .NET Framework so to achieve this some new changes are carried out for it.

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